ACI World’s latest report on the post-pandemic recovery predicts that global passenger traffic in 2022 will reach 74.4% of its pre-Covid 2019 level. When it comes to Africa, however, that figure rises to 79.3%. And the outlook for the Middle East is even brighter at 82.7%, boosted by lovers of the beautiful game heading to Qatar for the FIFA World Cup in November. The 2022 MEADFA Conference, hosted by Bahrain Duty Free at The Art Hotel & Resort (pictured above) in Bahrain from 27 to 29 November, could hardly be better timed to capture the positive mood across the region as travellers return.
After an opening cocktail on Sunday evening, the Conference’s formal programme gets underway on Monday with a Bahraini perspective from the Bahrain Airport Company and Bahrain Duty Free. A panel of regional leaders including senior executives from Aer Rianta International Middle East, Dubai Duty Free and Dufry will evaluate the current state and prospects of DF&TR in the Middle East and Africa. The focus then shifts to unlocking West Africa’s potential with input from UNWTO Africa and ForwardKeys. A fascinating overview of sustainable air transport and the opportunities it offers precedes the first day’s final session, where representatives from MEADFA and the Duty Free World Council will discuss regulatory challenges in the region.
On day two of the TFWA-managed event, subjects addressed include sustainability (including speakers from Lagardère TR, Mars Wrigley and Bahraini experts New Normal Consultancy), supply chains in transition (featuring Dubai Duty Free and Imperial Brands), the region’s growing cruise market (MSC Cruises and Harding+), tourism in East Africa (Ethiopian Airlines and Lagardère TR) and Meta-retail (with Metaverse specialists Bureau Béatrice). Delegates will have ample opportunity to network at the coffee and lunch breaks on both days and Monday’s gala dinner, as well as the opening cocktail on Sunday evening.